Updated: 28/11/17 : 05:16:48
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Government reputation in tatters before vote

By Eugene McGloin
Political Editor


THE REPUTATION of the Government is in tatters this morning, Tuesday.

This follows release by the Department of Justice of three new email shortly after 7pm last night.

‘Over, Reckless’

Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald’s “credibility is shot, done for,” said Fintan O’Toole, the country’s most eminent commentator.

He was speaking on RTÉ One’s Clare Byrne Show on Monday night.

“I cannot understand how Frances Fitzgerald thinks her career is more important than the national interest,” added O’Toole.

“This is over,” observed O’Toole: “This is reckless,” O’Toole said of the continuing role in Government of the Tanaiste.

Her position was further described last night as “untenable” by Labour Deputy Leader Alan Kelly.

Not Credible

He said it is not credible that the Tánaiste could claim to have missed three emails.

“What is going on now is reckless,” said Deputy Kelly, who first raised in the Dáil last month some of the issues now emerging.

Deputy Kelly highlighted the email which have now emerged had not been forwarded to the Charleton Disclosures Tribunal.

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Seems Certain

Martin Kenny, Sinn Fein TD for Sligo/Leitrim, endorsed the resignation calls on the same RTÉ show last night.

The Government now seems likely to lose a Fianna Fáil vote of “Confidence” in Frances Fitzgerald in Private Members Time tonight at 8pm.

Fianna Fáil’s Spokeman on Justice, Jim O’Callaghan, confirmed late last night that his party wants the Taánaiste to resign.

The new emails “indisputably show” Frances Fitzgerald was aware of strategy by Gardai re: whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

That was the view of RTÉ Political Editor, Katie Hannon, speaking on the same RTÉ show.

Current Crisis

It was Hannon’s revelations seven days ago which sparked the current crisis.

Last night’s emails show that the Tanaiste was made aware in 2015 of the ‘McCabe  motive’ strategy being pursued by senior Gardai. 

However, one year later in the Dáil the Minister appeared to deny existence of the strategy.

The stubbornness of Fine Gael, so far, has taken the country to the brink of a general election in Christmas Week.

This morning’s edition of The Irish Examiner suggest that “Ministers desert Fitzgerald as pressure rises.”

Some of her Cabinet colleagues now say she should have resigned last week.

All eyes will now focus on the attitude before tonight’s of independent senior Ministers, Shane Ross and Denis Naughten.